Nitrogen gas costs sent flying for aerospace component manufacturer

The Challenge

SPS Technologies (T.J. Brookes Division), part of the PCC Fasteners group of companies are a leading global manufacturer of fasteners, primarily used in the construction of aerospace vehicles.

Nitrogen gas is used in the heat treatment process to provide an inert atmosphere and prevent oxidisation of the material as it is heated to temperatures of around 1100°C. Heat is applied to harden, temper and relieve stress from the components as they pass through it. The purity of the inert Nitrogen gas is very important as any Oxygen ingress would render the product unfit for use in such a quality-conscious industry as aerospace.

The existing gas was supplied from a bulk liquid tank that was regularly topped up by a tanker delivery which took time and effort to manage and control. Operating in a highly price sensitive market, the rising costs of labour and the liquid supply were unsustainable and cost reduction was the main driver for this site.


The Solution

Key outcomes required by SPS Technologies included:

  1. High purity gas supply of ≤100ppm or 99.99% was a minimum standard
  2. Required a dedicated compressor as the site machines were well utilised already
  3. The whole package needed to be provided within a secure weatherproof container to be housed in an external location

Maziak designed a containerised on-site N2 gas generation system comprising a “bullet proof” HPC ASK34 15bar compressor and Parker NITROsource gas generator package delivering High Purity gas to the nearby factory via the existing copper-piped infrastructure. With the package assembled off-site, Maziak arranged transport and offloading.

Within the container Maziak installed electrical distribution, ventilation and cold weather protection. To ensure the safety of staff operating the equipment, a calibrated ambient Oxygen level alarm system was provided that prior to entry, gives a visual and audible indication if there are low Oxygen levels within the container.  The existing liquid supply was removed on completion by others.

The Result

All of SPS Technologies’ desired outcomes were comprehensively met and the package is now fully operational 24/7.

  1. No more delivery vehicles and the time and effort required to manage the site’s gas needs can be put to more productive use
  2. Continuous availability of supply with on-demand High Purity Nitrogen gas generation
  3. Full responsibility for maintenance is with Maziak as the package has a comprehensive 5 year service and manufacturer backed warranty package